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@ Jeff Schewe - Printing from Lightroom (Resolution)

Apr 1, 2012 7:30 AM

Tags: #lightroom #photoshop #resolution #settings #print #epson #fineart

hello, mr. schewe

 

i have just read your article : http://www.digitalphotopro.com/technique/workflow/the-right-resolution .html

 

now it happens that a friend just showed me the luminous landscape "camera to print" video (because i got a nice new epson printer).

both the article and the video together left me a bit confused.

 

i have to admit i always thought, as long as my images have over 240 PPI native resolution (for a given printsize) and i set the printer to maximum quality (5760x1440 DPI on the printer), that i can´t get better results with resampling the image in software.

 

in the luminous landscape video you say native resolution is more important then resampled resolution.

michael reichmann mentioned an epson engineer and he said that you should not upsample in software when the image has at least 180 PPI.

that you should let the epson printer take care of it.

 

now in your article above, you say something different.

you wrote upsampling in LR to 360 or even 720 PPI can yield better image quality.

 

 

so you see why im confused.

 

i just want the optimum print quality from my prints (speed does not realy matter for me. 5 or 15 minutes... i don´t care. just crank all settings up for max quality that´s my mantra).

 

so to put it together.. you say when printing from LR you should  allow LR to resample the image to a native printer resolution for best print quality?
the info in the LL video is outdated then?

 

and what about photoshop?

if i do proper manual sharpening in photoshop i should also resample the image to exactly 360 or 720 PPI or print at .. lets say for example 270 PPI?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2012 12:56 PM   in reply to -Agfaclack-

    Did you see the "Camera to Prin"t (the original older video demoing LR2) or the new "Camera to Print and Screen" (the newer one completed last yearshowing LR3)?

     

    In the old one, there wasn't built in output sharpening and the LR upsampling was based on old techniques...

     

    Times have changed. The bottom line now is if the native resolution of your image will print at under 360 PPI for Epson or 300 PPI for Canon/HP, upsample to 360/300 in LR and apply the correct output sharpening. If the PPI is over 360/300 but below 720/600 PPI, upsample to 720/600.

     

    As for Photoshop, you would have to upsample and then output sharpen...I really don't print much from Photoshop any more since it's a better workflow from LR.

     
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    May 27, 2012 2:09 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Hi Jeff, I have read your excellent article, and am clear on all but one point:

     

     

    You state that if the photo native res is over 360, upsampling in LR  to 720 (for an Epson) will give you higher quality results.  However, the photo comparison you show in the article is of printing at the photo native res compared to printing at 720.  In the article I could not find a comparison of printing from LR  at 360 compared to  720.  (You had already shown that the printer did a lousy job of upsamping, compared to Lightroom, so it doesn't surprise me that it does a lousy job of downsampling too, which it is doing in this case where the native res is greater than 360.)

     

    Intuitively I would think that the cost of inventing what is potentially a huge number of pixels  is going to outweigh the benefit of the "finest detail" feature. Do you happen to have a 360/720 comparison?

     

    Alternatively, as I am writing this, I can imagine a perfectly appropriate response - "try it yourself!"  I may indeed do that, but am interested in your perspective. ;-)

     
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    May 27, 2012 2:50 PM   in reply to Laura Shoe

    Laura Shoe wrote:

     

    In the article I could not find a comparison of printing from LR  at 360 compared to  720.  (You had already shown that the printer did a lousy job of upsamping, compared to Lightroom, so it doesn't surprise me that it does a lousy job of downsampling too, which it is doing in this case where the native res is greater than 360.)

     

    I didn't bother to show a head to head 360-720 comparison because, well, it's obvious that with a native rez of above 360 you would not want to downsample a higher rez image to print at 360...I showed the under 360 and the over 360 examples because that's what I wanted to prove. If the native rez is below 360, upsampling to 360 is helpful, if the native rez is above 360 but below 720, upsample to 720. I did actually test trying to go beyond 720 but there's only a very special case where the Epson pro printers can output above 720. If you have the driver set to one of the proofing papers and also seect Finest Detail the actual reported resolution is actually 1440 (2x the normal Finest Detail). But that is really only useful for printing halftone proofs on proofing paper where you are trying to image actual halftone dots. I tried it on photos and could see no benefit printing beyond 720.

     

     

    Laura Shoe wrote:

     

    Alternatively, as I am writing this, I can imagine a perfectly appropriate response - "try it yourself!"  I may indeed do that, but am interested in your perspective. ;-)

     

    If you want to see the results of printing native rez above 360 at 360, you go right ahead and see for yourself. I have and see no reason to downsample higher rez images to print at 360.

     
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    May 27, 2012 5:42 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Thanks for the reply, Jeff. You wrote "it's obvious that with a native rez of above 360 you would not want to downsample a higher rez image to print at 360."

     

    These kinds of topics make my head hurt, so I apologize if I am just being dense on this, but why is it obvious?

     

    (I have edited this to try to be clearer.)

     

    Given that the two choices are to upsample or downsample (sending it to the printer at its native resolution has been convincingy taken off the table), if the native res is 450, there is significantly more interpolation involved in upsampling to 720 than downsampling to 360. (If I calculated it correctly, upsampling from 450 to 720 requires about a 150% increase in pixels; downsampling requires reducing the pixel count by 36%.)   I would think that this upsampling has got to introduce significantly more error than downsampling.  Is it obvious that the "finest detail" setting overcomes this? 

     

    (I can see that there is a point as NR increases and moves towards 720, downsampling error increases and upsampling error decreases, that the scales would tip.)

     

    I have always felt that on this topic there is still some critical piece of understanding that I am still missing ... I'm trying to push through and find it. Any help would be appreciated!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2012 6:12 PM   in reply to Laura Shoe

    Laura Shoe wrote:

     

    I would think that this upsampling has got to introduce significantly more error than downsampling.  Is it obvious that the "finest detail" setting overcomes this?

     

    Why would you think that? Downsampling throws away resolution...

     

    Upsampling creates new pixels out of adjoining pixels and then has output sharpening applied on top. This produces an optimal result.

     

    Downsampling throws away perfectly good pixels and then output sharpening on top produces less good results.

     

    If you send over/under either 360 or 720 with Finest detail, the print pipeline will do the resampling in either case. And that is suboptimal in any event. It's best to do the resampling in LR and then output sharpen. If below 360, upsample to 360. If below 720 and above 360, upsample to 720. Unless you want to do extensive tests to prove this to yourself, you'll just have to take my word for it (and my word is good).

     
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    May 27, 2012 6:30 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Ok, thank you for your answers, Jeff. Lol -- I read this as "and my word is god". And I do believe!  (I'll have to prioritize those test prints.)

     
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    May 27, 2012 8:07 PM   in reply to Laura Shoe

    Laura Shoe wrote:

     

    Lol -- I read this as "and my word is god".

     

    Funny...the first time I typed it I had a typo...I had spelled good as god and had to edit the post (and no, I don't think I'm a "god", just a bit better than your average "expert" perhaps :~)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2012 8:21 PM   in reply to Laura Shoe

    If you are looking for maximum print quality with minimum fuss about output size, ppi etc. have a look at Qimage Ultimate; they show a comparison with LR3 / 4:

     

    http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage-u/tech-prt.htm

     

    Download the trial and judge for yourself.  The software takes a little getting used to as it has a program logic all of its own but there are tutorial videos available to help.

     

    Ian

     
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    May 28, 2012 12:06 AM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Jeff, in the article you wrote that you tested the Epson R3000 (which I happen to own, fully satisfied) but it lacked the Finest Detail option.

    It does have it and it's checked ON by default for specific paper settings (photo papers of course), while you can chose to enable it or not with standard papers.

     

    http://cl.ly/2t0r2K0b3a2y2p1Q3P2Q/Screenshot%20%202012-05-28%20at%2008.57.09.png

    http://cl.ly/272i0A3o120B1t0O3c3r/Screenshot%20%202012-05-28%20at%2009.04.36.png

     
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    May 28, 2012 2:41 PM   in reply to PaoloAvezzano

    You won't see any real benefit trying to use Finest Detail with matte papers (particularly plain papers). You might be able to print out at the Super Photo (5760) but the odds are you won't see any benefit from printing to plain paper beyond Photo (1440). Matte and watercolor as well as plain paper just can't hold the detail...you can test this for yourself.

     

    I mentioned in the article it really doesn't make sense to rez your images past 360 for matte papers...

     
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    May 28, 2012 4:03 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    I'm not speaking about plain paper vs matte papers vs glossy papers or whatever else.

    That was just an example to show the Finest Detail setting in action on the Epson driver.

    You wrote that R3000 doesn't have that check, but it has. It's just always on by default for high end papers, and it's left to the user for lower end papers; so 720ppi on an Epson R3000 is all but  worthless.

    We both agree that on matte papers the detail is lost anyway over a certain threshold but... that wasn't the point :)

     
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    May 28, 2012 5:23 PM   in reply to PaoloAvezzano

    PaoloAvezzano wrote:

     

    That was just an example to show the Finest Detail setting in action on the Epson driver.

    You wrote that R3000 doesn't have that check, but it has.

     

    What OS X and what driver version....I have driver 8.6.7 running on OS X 10.6.8 and my R3000 driver does not show Finest Detail.

     
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    May 28, 2012 11:37 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Same Driver version on Lion 10.7.4.

    I jumped on the Lion on 10.7.2, and I recall to have seen the Final Detail since day 1. I may be wrong, but that's what I remember.

     
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    May 29, 2012 12:15 AM   in reply to PaoloAvezzano

    Yeah, well I just checked my laptop with 10.7.4 and Epson driver 8.6.7 and I see no Finest Detail settings with Photoshop CS6–I do see Finest Detail but only with LR 4...so not at all sure why there is a difference...

     
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    May 29, 2012 1:49 AM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Could you drop a line to you Epson contact?

     
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